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Aspyr: Empire at War Intel-only


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#1 IMG News

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 09:08 AM

Aspyr Media has released its January Mac newsletter, which covers the current status of Star Wars: Empire at War and Rollercoaster Tycoon 3: Soaked. Empire should be ready to ship sometime this month and Soaked is in the final stages of testing and approvals. The newsletter also details the reasons behind the decision to make Empire at War Aspyr's first Intel Mac only title.

Our work on Empire at War is finishing up, in preparation for the game shipping in February. This is the first Mac game we have developed that is Intel-only, and the decision to not support PowerPC Macs was a difficult one. The complexity of bringing a totally new game engine to OS X meant there was plenty of work just getting the game up and running on the Mac, and adding the extra work of supporting PowerPC as well would have pushed the game release off several months. The other wrinkle to Empire at War is that it is likely a PowerPC version would not be able to play multiplayer against Intel Macs, due to slight differences in floating point calculations between the two types of CPUs. Having a Universal Mac version of the game that didn't allow multiplayer between all Macs would be confusing at best. Because we were focusing solely on the Intel version of the game, we did take care to ensure it would run on all Intel Macs, including those with the Intel integrated graphics chips, like the MacBook.
You can check out the newsletter at the link below.
Return to Full Article - InsideMacGames News


#2 Blackshawk

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 09:28 AM

Hmmm, not exactly surprising. It had to happen eventually.
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#3 Morrigan

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 10:43 AM

Looks like I'll be buying the pc version.

I have a good G5 tower with plenty of legs left and it's not being supported by one of my target games now. I'm not spending $2500 on a new tower so I can play the mac version of this game, but I'll spend $30 and play it on my Dell.

#4 Whaleman

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 11:12 AM

View PostBlackshawk, on February 1st 2007, 04:28 PM, said:

Hmmm, not exactly surprising. It had to happen eventually.

My dual 2.5GHz G5 with an X800 is crying at these news nonetheless. If I really want to play it I still have my MBP though.... hmm.... I have a field course in may...
You shouldn't ask yourself such worthless questions. Aim higher. Try this: why am I here? Why do I exist, and what is my purpose in this universe?

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#5 jeffbax

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 12:06 PM

Its a mixed bag.  First, I don't buy the multiplayer bullpopsnizzle.  Second, beefy PowerMac G5's could play.  I imagine G4 performance would suck.  The question is, is it worth porting to PowerPC when the majority of systems (G4s) will get popsnizzle performance and there aren't that many G5s.

But not playing multiplayer because of a CPU?  Yeah, then why does EVERY other game not have this problem.

#6 Eric5h5

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 12:21 PM

View Postjeffbax, on February 1st 2007, 01:06 PM, said:

But not playing multiplayer because of a CPU?  Yeah, then why does EVERY other game not have this problem.

You mean except Command & Conquer Generals?  I think Aspyr knows what they're talking about here.

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#7 akac

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 12:26 PM

View Postjeffbax, on February 1st 2007, 12:06 PM, said:

Its a mixed bag.  First, I don't buy the multiplayer bullpopsnizzle.  Second, beefy PowerMac G5's could play.  I imagine G4 performance would suck.  The question is, is it worth porting to PowerPC when the majority of systems (G4s) will get popsnizzle performance and there aren't that many G5s.

But not playing multiplayer because of a CPU?  Yeah, then why does EVERY other game not have this problem.

Its been talked about a lot. Intel CPUs and Power PCs produce different floating point calculations. Don't believe me? Then do a search on C&C Generals AND Rosetta. You'll see.

Second, some game developers who don't think about this (we're not talking Aspyr, but the original devs) write their multi-player gaming to depend on those floating point calcs for synchronizing the gameplay. When the floating point is going to be off then you have problems.

Most game devs are smart enough not to do something so stupid, but some do.

#8 Aika

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 12:28 PM

View Postjeffbax, on February 1st 2007, 06:06 PM, said:

Its a mixed bag.  First, I don't buy the multiplayer bullpopsnizzle.  Second, beefy PowerMac G5's could play.  I imagine G4 performance would suck.  The question is, is it worth porting to PowerPC when the majority of systems (G4s) will get popsnizzle performance and there aren't that many G5s.

But not playing multiplayer because of a CPU?  Yeah, then why does EVERY other game not have this problem.

**The complexity of bringing a totally new game engine to OS X meant there was plenty of work just getting the game up and running on the Mac, and adding the extra work of supporting PowerPC as well would have pushed the game release off several months.**

I am sure Aspyr would love to bring it out as a UB, I don't think that they did this just to annoy people or sacrifice potential sales. If it was a choice between Star Wars EAW but intel only or no Star Wars EAW at all then I will take the former.
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#9 Morrigan

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 02:18 PM

View PostAika, on February 1st 2007, 12:28 PM, said:

**The complexity of bringing a totally new game engine to OS X meant there was plenty of work just getting the game up and running on the Mac, and adding the extra work of supporting PowerPC as well would have pushed the game release off several months.**

I am sure Aspyr would love to bring it out as a UB, I don't think that they did this just to annoy people or sacrifice potential sales. If it was a choice between Star Wars EAW but intel only or no Star Wars EAW at all then I will take the former.
Well for those of us who can't drop $2500 on a new tower because their old tower is less than a year old it might as well NOT exist for the mac.

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 02:43 PM

View PostMorrigan, on February 1st 2007, 02:18 PM, said:

Well for those of us who can't drop $2500 on a new tower because their old tower is less than a year old it might as well NOT exist for the mac.
Amen to that...

#11 Eric5h5

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 03:44 PM

There was a discussion somewhat recently about the possibility of having PPC patches released later, and the notion wasn't dismissed out of hand.  So there's that.  On the other hand, the broken Mac/Mac multiplayer between PPC/x86 makes that less likely in this case, I'd guess.

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#12 teflon

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 04:07 PM

i dont get why people are getting so bitter about this.

industry people have been saying for ages that this is going to happen far far far sooner than were all expecting... and now it is.
so i think that Glenda could quite easily come in here and just go "look, i told you so".
if there was an economic and sensible way to get EaW onto a PPC mac which did not break multiplayer, then I think Aspyr wouldve done it, and made us wait another few months.
But realistically, this will all be a hazy memory in a years time. next to noone is going to care too much because theyll realise that their hardware is over 2 years old (most likely 3 years), and will either have something near new, or be about to buy something new and fantastic.

welcome to intel guys.
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#13 Guest_Red Guard_*

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 04:18 PM

Bottom line is, many Mac gamers were looking forward to playing EAW but now, months after EAW was initially announced for the Mac, a good portion of us (I want to say majority but I don't have any stats handy to back me up) won't be able to play the game unless we were to spend another couple of hundreds or thousands of dollars to buy a new Intel Mac.

Intel Mac users: If you were looking forward to this game, good for you, congratulations on owning a Mac that can play this game. We don't expect you to understand those of us who are left behind, even if our machines are barely or not even a year old.

I believe if Aspyr had announced that EAW was going to be Intel-only from day 1, most, if not all, PPC gamers wouldn't feel as bad as we wouldn't have been looking forward to playing this game anyway. With that said though, it's understandable that Aspyr didn't want to announce anything until they are 100% sure because they are a business.

---------

On a more personal note, I was going to buy this game for my kid for his birthday, but now I have to explain to him why he won't be able to play EAW and why daddy can't spend another $2000-$3000 so that he could play it...

#14 Eric5h5

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 04:38 PM

In fairness to Aspyr, it's been known that there was a distinct possibility that it was going to be Intel-only since it was announced.  They didn't say so because they were still deciding about doing a PPC version.  Now we know what that decision is.

--Eric

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 04:55 PM

View PostEric5h5, on February 1st 2007, 04:38 PM, said:

In fairness to Aspyr, it's been known that there was a distinct possibility that it was going to be Intel-only since it was announced.  They didn't say so because they were still deciding about doing a PPC version.  Now we know what that decision is.

--Eric
That has already been stated:

Quote

With that said though, it's understandable that Aspyr didn't want to announce anything until they are 100% sure because they are a business.
On the other hand, because the possibility of a UB version of EAW still existed until today, can you blame us PPC users being disappointed after looking forward to the possibility of playing the game for months?

#16 v-i-c-

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 05:12 PM

For me this decission of aspry is the reason to boycott this company and their (universal) games from now on. There are other companies and other great games i can choose like aspyr choosed that they don't want me as customer.

#17 StopDropBurn

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 05:27 PM

There is no reason to boycott Aspyr, they've been strong supporters of the Mac platform, and they still are, while it's annoying that EaW is Intel-only, that's absolutely no reason to boycott Aspyr. :angry:
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

#18 Douglas

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 05:41 PM

View PostIMG News, on February 1st 2007, 07:08 AM, said:

Aspyr Media has released its January Mac newsletter, which covers the current status of Star Wars: Empire at War and Rollercoaster Tycoon 3: Soaked. Empire should be ready to ship sometime this month and Soaked is in the final stages of testing and approvals. The newsletter also details the reasons behind the decision to make Empire at War Aspyr's first Intel Mac only title.<BR><BR><DIV CLASS="imgblockquote">Our work on Empire at War is finishing up, in preparation for the game shipping in February. This is the first Mac game we have developed that is Intel-only, and the decision to not support PowerPC Macs was a difficult one. The complexity of bringing a totally new game engine to OS X meant there was plenty of work just getting the game up and running on the Mac, and adding the extra work of supporting PowerPC as well would have pushed the game release off several months. The other wrinkle to Empire at War is that it is likely a PowerPC version would not be able to play multiplayer against Intel Macs, due to slight differences in floating point calculations between the two types of CPUs. Having a Universal Mac version of the game that didn't allow multiplayer between all Macs would be confusing at best. Because we were focusing solely on the Intel version of the game, we did take care to ensure it would run on all Intel Macs, including those with the Intel integrated graphics chips, like the MacBook.</DIV><BR>You can check out the newsletter at the link below.<BR><BR><P STYLE="text-align:center;font-weight:bold;font-size:11px;"><A HREF="/news/story.php?ArticleID=14650" TARGET="_blank">Return to Full Article</A> - InsideMacGames News</P>


This is too bad.  I never bought a G5 myself, I jumped from a G4 iMac to the Mac Pro because I always had this bad feeling in the back of my mind that the G5 was going to get shafted and have too short a lifespan.  I like to have a compelling reason to spend a lot to upgrade and I always try to upgrade to the next generation processor, but the G5 was an exception.  Even though the machine was nice, it just never seemed to do enough more that I couldn't do with my existing G4.  When the Intel Power Mac came out I finally had a concrete reason to upgrade, Windows gaming..something that I couldn't do with any PPC.  Anyways, I'm really sorry to hear that the PPC is being left behind so soon, and not because it is unable to run the game.

Bummer

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#19 Eric5h5

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 05:43 PM

View PostRed Guard, on February 1st 2007, 05:55 PM, said:

can you blame us PPC users being disappointed after looking forward to the possibility of playing the game for months?

Nope.  Some of us PPC users were pretty much assuming it would end up Universal because the system requirements aren't as high as all that, but we didn't know about the PPC/x86 multiplayer glitch which, I think, might have been the deciding factor.  Oh well, I'll pick it up in a few years...maybe by then it will have a discount price too. ;)

Oh, and boycotting Aspyr is childish.  I mean really.

--Eric

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 06:00 PM

If people want to boycott Aspyr, let them go ahead... there are still plenty of people who are willing to fork over their hard earned money to Aspyr.

Fact is people, for us Mac gamers, we don't have too many choices. If you want to boycott Aspyr, it's your choice but you will miss out on maybe 1/3 of the AAA titles... but then again, if you're a PPC Mac users, even if your machine is less-than-a-year old (like me), you're going to miss out on most, if not all, of those titles anyway.   :lol:  :cool: